As usual, the news today pissed me off. Specifically, the Kentucky County Clerk. First, she refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples because it went against her religious beliefs. This got her in trouble because that’s illegal since the Supreme Court ruling, and the court ordered her to start issuing them. Now, rather than doing her job, she decided to not issue any at all to try and avoid the ruling.
Really? Are we back in Kindergarten? That’s like the little kid that pouts when you tell her she can’t just eat the chicken nuggets, she has to eat her vegetables too. So, she gets pissy and refuses to eat anything.
The Clerk and her friends are arguing that they are exercising their first amendment rights.
First, exercising their free speech is generally, you know, speaking or representing your beliefs. That right would include saying things like “Same sex marriages offend my religious sensibilities.” She would be within her rights to say that, as distasteful as that is. She doesn’t have to like giving out the licenses, she can say that too, HOWEVER, it does not give her the right to deny giving out legal marriage licenses because of the nature of her job.
Look at it like this, if a person runs their own business they have a lot of latitude. If they want to refuse service to same sex couples, they can do that. It’s their property, their business, they can make a lot of the rules. They could have “No Purple Shirt” Wednesdays or something stupid like that. If they want to look like idiots and lose out on income that’s their choice, stupid or not. That’s why I’m not mad about the bakery that refused to make a marriage cake for the lesbian couple. I don’t agree with the owners, I think it’s a stupid decision and I wouldn’t shop there anymore, but I still think that’s their right.
If a person works for a company than they have to abide by the company rules and they have a lot less flexibility. If the company policies go against a person’s religious beliefs they might not have much choice in the matter, quit or follow the rules.
Even more restricting is working for the government. Those are jobs that serve the public and they are very inflexible about the law. They have to be, there’s the whole separation of Church and State, and it has to be fair for everyone involved. The County Clerk provides services for the County, it’s a government position.
Just imagine going before a Judge and they refuse to sit for your case because they don’t like your religion, or give different sentences for the same crimes. Or having the county refuse to renew your car registration because you’re handicapped. Or the police pulling over people they have vendettas against.
Legally, they can’t do those things, they have to put aside whatever personal issues they have and do their jobs professionally. Or risk legal action.
So, that’s why it’s ILLEGAL for the County Clerk to do what she’s doing, and the worst part is that people support her. That’s stupid on so many, many levels. Government officials can’t act like this, it’s opening pandora’s box. Personal opinions, beliefs, and religion cannot play a role in how officials act or that door swings open and who knows where it goes? There are reasons why all these laws are in place, to protect all of us from unfair behavior.
While government officials are restricted in how they act the County Clerk does have an option if she following the law makes her uncomfortable…
(Or get fired, or removed, or whatever it is local governments do to get rid of a clerk, which I think should have happened after her first refusal.)
Then she could open a conservative Christian bakery and refuse service to whoever she wants.
But this petulant child act has got to stop.